Editor’s Note: Sorry for the re-post of this content. Some readers were having formatting issues with the original, so splitting and creating a new post was a quick solution.
Inspired by Henry’s enthusiasm earlier this morning and knowing that the City was advised to consider installing the first roundabout on a less contested intersection than those along Division St., I’ve begun a map of places we may consider Traverse City’s First Roundabout–see below for map.
Please note: This is a map of some suggestions. None of these have been researched by engineers, or to my knowledge considered by anyone who works for the city of Traverse City. These are just that, suggestions based on that idea that roundabouts are considered where: long rush hour queues exists, high number of crashes and/or a high number of left turns, and where the city knows or predicts high number of pedestrians.
Have any additions?
Roundabout Suggestions for Traverse City
Related Video: Mayor of Carmel, IN, James Brainard describes the city’s experience with more than 50 roundabouts
UPDATE 12:05pm: Due to some formatting glitches, some of the original content of this post will be posted in a follow-up and a graphic has been moved to the bottom. Henry’s post has otherwise been left unchanged.
Traverse City has pondered & pondered, wondered & wondered — said yes, said no, gone on & on. About what? About roundabouts.
What’s a roundabout? A traffic circle, a rotary. You know those things that are all over Europe — and we Americans hate them. When do we get on this spinning carousel? How & where do we get off? We have a tendency to go round & round, as if on a merry-go-round. We Americans hate roundabouts, rotaries, traffic circles. At this point the City of Traverse City is not about to build any roundabouts.
And yet, the city of Carmel, Indiana built sixty of these things since 2001. Sixty roundabouts in 9 years. Why did Carmel, Indiana, which was one of the first cities in America to build traffic lights — and they are now in the process of tearing down many traffic lights in Carmel, Indiana — why did they build so many roundabouts?(PDF)
How About This?
“In revamped intersections there has been an eighty per cent drop in crashes involving injuries.“
Did you hear that? An 80% drop — and those last four words are very significant — in crashes involving injuries. Not fender benders, but those kind of crashes where somebody gets hurt. What was the percentage drop in such crashes? Eighty per cent. Wow! A 30% or 50% drop would be significant. But this is much more significant: this is an eighty per cent drop in crashes involving injuries. Again, Wow!
And here is the second statistic — and all this is from a short article in Newsweek magazine, October 11, 2010, written by Tom Vanderbuilt: “Roundabouts can reduce fatal accidents by as much as 90%.” We thought an 80% drop was significant. What about a 90% drop? “Reduce fatal accidents by as much as 90%.”
Move Forward Traverse City
I should stop repeating myself, yelling figures at you — and Traverse City should get on with it now. If not sixty, we should build at least forty roundabouts in the next ten years. My reasons are simple, I want to live in, and I want friends & family to visit, a city that has reduced car-related injuries by 80 per cent and car-related deaths by 90 per cent.
- You: European Import Has Cars Spinning. Heads, Too. (nytimes.com)
- Roundabouts Reduce Crashes in Indiana (newsweek.com)
- Picture of Muskegon’s Roundabout (Flickr)
Interactive people watching; why just watch when you can experiment. Interesting study in traffic control and to watch how most people 1) followed the directed path and 2) managed to socially negotiate the right of way without issue, all without questioning. Who has time to question?
Created by Rune Madsen, Scott Wayne Indiana, Nien Lam and Nikolas Psaroudakis.